By no means have I ever considered myself a writer.
My brain was hardwired for science, mathematics, logic and order. Write a research paper based on factual results? Sure.
Write a paper based on my own opinions, thoughts and feelings? Cue the blank stare and Jeopardy theme song.
And yet, I always kept a journal as a coping mechanism; a way of releasing and letting go of daily anxieties.
Primarily, it was a way to organize my thoughts and create order and logic when life seemed overwhelming or chaotic.
So when motherhood came calling (in my case, she came in a Mack Truck filled with 12 months of sleep-deprivation), I needed this safe place more than ever.
I was new to Squamish. Having grown up in the Interior, I had moved to Vancouver to complete my degree and then met my future husband.
I started a fabulous career at a non-profit wildlife hospital, and life was good.
But city life was overwhelming us both. We moved from Vancouver to Burnaby to Port Coquitlam, and then finally, after much convincing on the part of my husband, we moved to Squamish.
Squamish felt immediately like home. But when I was almost 8 months pregnant, the panic hit.
I think it took me that long to realize I was actually having a child and had no idea what I was going to DO with it.
So I researched, took notes and wrote it all down.
What followed was the launch of a community resource website to share all that I had discovered.
It started simply enough: A dynamic calendar of programs and activities, with information on family-oriented resources in Squamish.
But just as I had struggled with failure in that first university English class, my then-3-month-old “high-needs” baby had me feeling like one epic failure of a mother.
I needed to vent, so I added a blog.
And to my surprise, people were reading it, and a whole community of families were connecting with the blog.
They say it takes a village to raise a baby, but it takes a community to raise a mother, and I was seeing both blossom before my digital eyes.
This column is an extension of that.
From pacifiers to potty training, I will be honest about how raising a family can be both the biggest butt-kick, and the most euphoric, non-drug-related high of your life.
So connect with me. Have a topic you’d like discussed? A guilty parent confession? Send me a message @SquamishBaby using the hashtag #SquamishReporter.
Lani Sheldon is the creator of http://squamishbaby.com a community resource website and blog about parenting. She can also be found on Twitter @SquamishBaby.